‘Bing spotlight’ offers a news hub for information on evolving stories, powered by AI and human editors

August 27, 2018

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Bing announced Monday a new way to deliver information around “impactful stories that evolve over a period of weeks or months.”  Called Bing spotlight, the feature offers a broad view of select news topics by curating a rundown of how they have developed over time. This includes a round up of the latest headlines on a topic, a timeline of how a story has evolved, relevant social media posts from people close to the story and different perspectives of a story from around the web.

In the center of the spotlight section is an image carousel with the latest headlines and graphics for the news topic. On its right is a “rundown” of how the news has developed over time. Below are sections for multiple perspectives of this news topic pulled from “high-quality sources” (more on how these are selected below) and on the right are the relevant social media posts around the topic.

Here is a visual explaining the layout for Bing spotlight:

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Bing explained the perspectives and stories are compiled using a combination of both AI and experienced human editors. This is powered partially by Bing intelligent search that has continued to expand over time.

Bing wrote:

To start, Bing monitors millions of queries and news articles every day and identifies impactful stories that evolve over a period of weeks or months. We look at various user signals such as queries and browser logs, and document signals from publishers such as how many publishers cover a story, their angles, and how prominently they feature the story on their site.  For controversial topics, in the Perspectives module, we show different viewpoints from high-quality sources. For a source to be considered high quality, it must meet the Bing News PubHub Guidelines, which is a set of criteria that favors originality, readability, newsworthiness, and transparency. Top caliber news providers identify sources and authors, give attribution and demonstrate sound journalistic practices such as accurate labeling of opinion and commentary. Behind the scenes, we leverage our deep learning algorithms and web graphs of hundreds of millions of web sites in the Bing index to identify top sources for national news, per category, query, or article. Our goal is to provide broader context for impactful stories, from politics to business to major disasters, and much more.

Bing told Search Engine Land that this is an “evolving feature and will be evaluating new options based on customer feedback.”

This has launched in the US on desktop and mobile Bing search.

Here is another example:

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